Minnesotans know they should be on the lookout for ticks every summer.
But in December?
Yes, says the Metropolitan Mosquito Control District (MMCD), which said that with temperatures hovering in the 40s, ticks could be a problem. It might be cold outside, but the ticks that spread Lyme disease never really go away, the MMCD said.
“Ticks that spread Lyme disease become dormant when ground temperatures drop below about 40 degrees,” said Janet Jarnefeld, MMCD tick vector ecologist. “But warm temperatures around your home and protected outdoor areas can provide conditions where ticks remain active,” she added.
While risk factors for Lyme disease drop to very low levels this time of year, hunters and winter camping enthusiasts should continue to check themselves and their pets for ticks. Recent snow and cold temperatures have slowed tick activity, but people are still finding the occasional tick on a pet that has spent time outdoors. These pets can bring ticks into your tent, your hunting shack, even your home.